High Court Backs Prison Term for Aide to Lawmaker Anri Kawai
Hiroshima, Aug. 31 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese high court on Monday upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced a secretary to House of Councillors lawmaker Anri Kawai to 18 months in prison, suspended for five years, over an election law violation.
Hiroshima High Court dismissed an appeal by Hiroshi Tatemichi, the 54-year-old state-paid secretary to Kawai, 46, against the ruling issued in June by Hiroshima District Court.
The district court found Tatemichi guilty of paying campaign staff workers more than the legal limit during Kawai’s campaign for the Upper House election in July last year. She was elected to the Diet, the country’s parliament, for the first time in the election, in which she ran from the constituency of Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan.
The district court said that Tatemichi was proactively played a central role in Kawai’s campaign activities, which were based on payments above the legal limit to campaign staff.
During the high court proceedings, the defense side claimed that Tatemichi only played a very subordinate role in the wrongdoing, seeking, as it did at the district court, a fine for him, which would not lead to Kawai’s election win being nullified under guilt-by association rules, instead of a prison sentence.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]